Saturday 13 April 2013
Here we are, Ken and I, high up in the Northam stand, in with the noisy, standing fans. West Ham have just been given yet another free kick, about the tenth in a row. There seems to be a consensus that the official didn't call this correctly, and the cry goes around the ground:
"The referee's a ****er! The referee's a ****er! The referee's a ****er!"
Perhaps he is. It's not such an unpleasant occupation, and yet I fail to see how this is germane to his decision making faculties. However, I join in merrily.
Moments later, Ricky Lambert (Saint's talisman, to the neophyte), is blatantly tripped by a burly West Ham defender, just outside their penalty area. The ref blows his whistle. Good job! At last, a decision has gone our way! Or has it? The ref points up field, awarding the free kick to the Hammers, and books Sir Ricky for diving! What the ****! The crowd go wild. No way did he simulate, to use the modern footie vernacular. All around us are cries such as "**** off ref!" "No ****ing way!" "You must be ****ing joking!" Some come from very close to me.
There's nothing quite like a good shout at the footie. The volume of the fans is so intense that anything one howls at the pitch is drowned out completely. As well as the robust anglo-saxon vocabulary, there's a lot of wit and humour. Andy Carroll, on loan from Liverpool, is the Hammer's burly, lanky front man. When he gets the ball, the cry goes up, "You're just a **** Ricky Lambert, **** Ricky Laaaambeeeeert, You're just a **** Ricky Laaaaambeeeeeert !!!!" to the tune of One Tala Mela. Magic. And, he is just a **** Ricky Lambert.
Carroll gets the last laugh. Saints arguably deserve all three points, but the big striker takes a free kick, gets a lucky deflection, and equalises Gaston Ramirez's second half goal. Not quite so much noise from the Northam stand at this juncture... At full time, a point apiece.
I ****ing love swearing. I don't know why. It's not big, and it's not clever. But it is wonderful. Sometimes, no other words can convey outrage, pleasure, confusion, or pure ****ing joie de vivre in quite the same way. Watch this clip:
from "Life of Brian" and tell me a better way for John Cleese to convey his utter contempt at the suggestion that he is a member of the Judean People's Front. As it says in the comments, "Best **** off ever!!" Quite.
I'll hold my hands up and admit it's not always appropriate to curse; I draw the line at profanity on the bus, for example. But to those who say it's never necessary, I'm with John Cleese.
And finally.... A poem, inspired by the ****ing general public:
Can you hear? The skylark sing, high up in the sky,
Can you hear? The babbling brook, gaily rushing by,
Can you hear, The westing wind, setting the leaves aspin,
Can you hear? Oh no, you've got your ****ing headphones in!
Can you see? The sprightly chaffinch, busy in his hedgerow,
Can you see? The comely primrose, crowned in golden yellow,
Can you see? The universe - above us with stars sewn,
Can you see? Oh no, you're looking at your ****ing phone!